WORKS BEYOND BLACKBOARDS
KSOR Guide to the Arts
by Deborah Colette Murphy


To create her designs, Christina uses hand tools made especially for her by Jim Rich, a local blacksmith. Christina describes them as tools to last a lifetime.

The irregular shapes of the stone slabs are often incorporated into the composition. Sometimes they define it by abruptly creating a sharp edge. The depth and smoothness of the sculptures are inviting to the touch. It is hard to resist running one’s fingers along the outline of a giant flower of to trace a mountains ridge.

Christina’s style has evolved through the years. Earlier works are almost line drawings etched on the slate. Her later works carve deeper into the stone and are more three dimensional. Her motifs are mainly figures, flowers and landscapes. The images hint at forms leaving the imagination to interact with them. Reality is implied; fantasy is inspired.

Since slate is so everlasting and versatile the pieces are used in a variety of settings. Some are hung on walls like paintings or tapestries. Some have been incorporated in architectural designs in hearthworks and cornerstones. Others have been inlaid as tabletops or serve as garden sculptures. The larger pieces are massive and weigh several hundred pounds; the small ones are compact armloads.

The Slateworks Studio is attached to Christina’s living space but the two really overlap.
One couch is covered with sheets and sheets of sketches. One wall is papered with long scrolls of drawings, the design from a mantelpiece. A large sturdy wood table dominates the room. Its surface is covered with books and a work in progress. It faces a wall made entirely of large stones. A small landscape sculpture rests nonchalantly on a stone shelf.

Christina elicits from her environment. In New York City she worked as a commercial artist. In the country she sculpts stone. She came to this area to find a different way to express her talents, herself. In these stone sculptures she has managed to do just that.


 

 

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